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Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Candied Chilli Cashews

Fresh, bright, green and packed with Vietnamese flavours, this adaptable and delicious Vietnamese chicken salad is everything you could ever want in a quick summer salad.

vietnamese chicken salad

This Vietnamese chicken salad is not strictly an authentic Vietnamese salad; however, it packs an epic punch of Vietnamese-inspired flavour and is sure to be a winner on your spring or summer table! 

This leftover friendly recipe needs 10 simple ingredients in addition to your pantry staples and comes together in under 15 minutes

You can add to or customise this recipe to fit your tastes – it’s really flexible, fresh and absolutely delicious! It’s also the perfect way to use up leftover roast chicken, and is just a lovely and healthy dish to quickly whip up when you’re feeling peckish.

The addition of caramelised cashews adds crunch and chew to this bright and fresh dish, taking the place of the more traditional peanuts in Vietnamese salad. But feel free to mix it up with your favourite nut or seed. 

If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of tasting Vietnamese Nuoc Cham, then you’re in for a treat! This punchy and delicious sauce is employed as a dipping sauce and dressing across Vietnam, and forms the base of the salad dressing here. I would suggest being generous with the sauce, as the flavours are simply out of this world! 

Essential ingredients for success

To make this salad the best, freshest and brightest it can be, don’t skimp on the following ingredients!

Fish sauce

Get the best fish sauce you can find, ideally from your local Asian supermarket or grocer.

Fresh vegetables

The chicken is the star here, but the veggies you use play a vital supporting role! Try to get your hands on some napa cabbage or wombok for an authentic touch. Use fresh and sweet Persian or English cucumbers and your favourite peppers for additional crunch and sweetness.

Fresh mint and coriander

Vietnamese cuisine relies heavily on fresh and flavourful herbs. To get the most out of your salad, use the freshest herbs you have access to (out of your garden or windowbox if you have green fingers!). Dried won’t do here, so make sure your herbs are bright green and pick out any brown or slimy bits. 

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. You can also view the video here. Happy cooking!

vietnamese chicken salad

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this vegan?

You can indeed. Pick up a vegan fish sauce, and add your favourite marinated tofu or vegan protein source to replace the chicken!

I don’t like cashews, what else can I use?

Feel free to add any other toasted, caramelised nut or seed of your choice.


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vietnamese chicken salad

Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Candied Chilli Cashews

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 Servings


Fresh, bright, green and packed with Vietnamese flavours, this adaptable and delicious Vietnamese chicken salad is everything you could ever want in a quick summer salad. You can view the cook-along video here.


  • 300g roasted shredded chicken
  • 15g mint leaves
  • 15g coriander leaves
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 60ml lime juice
  • 60ml water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • cabbage – thinly sliced
  • half a cucumber – deseeded and thinly sliced into diagonal half-moons
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced

Caramelised Cashews 

  • 60g sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 100g roasted cashews
  • pinch of chilli flakes or 1 tsp of sriracha


  1. Place a piece of parchment paper onto your work surface.
  2. Heat the sugar and water in a pan until the sugar dissolves and starts to turn golden. Keep a close eye on it and remove it from the heat once it turns a deep golden brown colour. Stir in the chilli flakes (or sriracha if using) and the cashews. Then turn the cashews out on the baking paper to cool.
  3. Once the cashews have cooled, chop them into bite-sized pieces
  4. Make the dressing. In a large bowl big enough to fit the salad, mix together the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Add the chilli, garlic, lime juice and fish sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Prepare the vegetables as directed, then add the chicken, cabbage, cucumber, and pepper and toss to coat in the dressing.
  7. Add the mint and coriander leaves to the salad and toss to combine.
  8. Pile the salad onto a plate and top with the candied cashews.
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 717.43kcal
  • Sugar: 50.77g
  • Sodium: 2215.07mg
  • Fat: 38.31g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.89g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 27.04g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 71.11g
  • Fiber: 4.84g
  • Protein: 29.18g
  • Cholesterol: 73.46mg
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